New York Times Pulls Article on Amnesty International’s Omar Radi Report

Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International published the same day, alleging the Moroccan government has used spyware against journalist Omar Radi.  The URL of the deleted article still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” […] The post New York Times Pulls Article on Amnesty International’s Omar Radi Report appeared first on Morocco World News.

New York Times Pulls Article on Amnesty International’s Omar Radi Report
Rabat – The New York Times has deleted from its website a Reuters article dated June 22, 2020, that briefs the report Amnesty International published the same day, alleging the Moroccan government has used spyware against journalist Omar Radi.  The URL of the deleted article still contains the date of publication and the keywords “reuters,” “cyber, “nso group,” and “morocco.” But the article itself has been wiped clean, leaving only a “Page No Longer Available” message.  The move suggests the New York Times’ editorial board may have doubts about Amnesty International’s claims, for which it has failed to provide tangible evidence.  The report Amnesty International published a report on June 22 in which it alleges that Moroccan security services used Israeli software to spy on Radi. The journalist is known for criticizing human rights violations in the country.  The human rights NGO says its analysis of Radi’s cell phone showed that malware infected the device using a “network injection.” This allegedly occurred while the phone was connected to the internet through an LTE/4G mobile connection on January 27, February 11, and September 13, 2019.  The spyware technology is the same as that described in a leaked document from 2015 linked to Israeli’s NSO Group, the report continues.  Alleging that Morocco has previously used NSO technology against Moroccan human rights activist Matti Monjib, Amnesty International concludes that the government mobilized the “cyber-spying attacks” against Radi using a “sophisticated new technique.” “The attacks occurred over a period when Radi was being repeatedly harassed by the Moroccan authorities, with one attack taking place just days after NSO pledged to stop its products being used in human rights abuses and continued until at least January 2020,” Amnesty said. Omar Radi told Morocco World News on June 23 that he was involved in the making of the report. Because “NSO provides its offers only for government institutions, it is clear that Moroccan authorities are behind this. Morocco is one of the customers of NSO,” he insisted. Since the report’s publication, the Moroccan government has repeatedly demanded material evidence to prove the spying allegations, and evidence that shows the organization contacted Moroccan officials before publishing the report. Amnesty International has failed to meet these requests.  Read also: Blind Trust in Amnesty International, a Blank Check for Waging War Le Desk bites back Omar Radi works with Moroccan news outlet Le Desk, which claimed Thursday that the New York Times regularly deletes articles published through other outlets such as Reuters and the Associated Press.  Le Desk slammed local outlets such as Barlamane and Chouf TV as “proxies” of Moroccan authorities after they published reports on the retracted article. The outlets suggested the American media giant may be unsure of the veracity of the Amnesty International report.   Barlamane also indicated that the New York Times’ move might encourage other big papers to make similar decisions.  Freelance Moroccan journalist Aida Alami responded to these reports on Twitter, calling them “fake news.” “Articles written by Reuters or the Associated Press do not remain on the [New York Times] site [for] more than a limited time. It was not an article written or signed by someone from @nytimes. Just business as usual,” she claimed.  Les articles écrit par Reuters ou l associated press ne restent pas sur le site plus qu’un temps limité. Ce n’était pas un article écrit ou signé par qqn du @nytimes. Just business as usual — Aida Alami (@AidaAlami) July 15, 2020  “You are a propagator of fake news,” she wrote in a separate tweet targeting Barlamane.  Barlamane vous êtes des menteurs et des propagateurs de fake news. Voir mon tweet ci dessous https://t.co/aDx8yDOx1i https://t.co/EGKu3xcPQb — Aida Alami (@AidaAlami) July 15, 2020 Le Desk used the same language against the media outlets reporting on the deleted article and based its claims on Aida’s tweets. The New York Times’ removal of articles is a “common practice,” the outlet alleged. A quick search of the New York Times archives, however, will yield scores of undeleted reports by Reuters and the Associated Press dating back several years. The outlet also has individual sections on its website dedicated to top news articles from Reuters and the Associated Press. Given the growing international controversy surrounding the report, influential media outlets such as the New York Times may want to distance themselves from Amnesty International and its failure to provide evidence of Morocco’s “foul play.”  In a recent interview with Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said Amnesty International failed to be neutral and objective in the June 22 report.  The organization “carried out a real media campaign on the basis of unfounded accusations, hence misleading several media and journalists,” he said. Nearly four weeks after the report’s publication, Amnesty International continues to deflect inquiries and avoid the Moroccan government’s demands. With the NGO yet to deliver the evidence it claims to possess, the international community is waiting for AI to meet its own standards of objectivity that the organization has touted for decades.  Read also: Official Outlines Paradox in Amnesty International’s Hostility to Morocco The post New York Times Pulls Article on Amnesty International’s Omar Radi Report appeared first on Morocco World News.